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Hanson v. County of Kitsap

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

February 11, 2014

CRAIG D. HANSON, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF KITSAP, WASHINGTON, DAVID LYNAM, KITSAP COUNTY FIRE MARSHAL, JOHN AND JANE DOE, EMPLOYEE-AGENTS AND FORMER EMPLOYEE AGENTS OF KITSAP COUNTY, Defendants.

ORDER ON KITSAP COUNTY'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

ROBERT J. BRYAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the Kitsap County's Motion for Protective Order Regarding Plaintiffs' Notice of Deposition to Kitsap County. Dkt. 52. The Court has considered the pleadings filed regarding the motion and the remaining file.

Plaintiff, a veteran of the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and Washington Army National Guard, filed this employment case pursuant to Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ("USERRA") 38 U.S.C. ยง 4301, et seq. and state law on May 22, 2013. Dkt. 1.

In the instant motion, Defendant Kitsap County moves for a protective order limiting the scope of discovery. Dkt. 52. For the reasons set forth below, the motion should be granted, in part, and denied, in part.

I. FACTS

A. ALLEGATIONS IN THE AMENDED COMPLAINT

The following summary of the allegations in the Amended Complaint is taken from the Court's earlier Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Protective Order and is provided for background:

In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he has worked for Defendants from March of 2007 to the present. Dkt. 11, at 3. Plaintiff is a Deputy Fire Marshal 1 ("DFM 1"). Id. Plaintiff asserts that as early as June of 2007, he began to conduct, but not get paid for, duties associated with a Deputy Fire Marshal 2 ("DFM 2") position. Id., at 4. In August of 2009, Plaintiff received notice that he was being called for active duty military service, and began that service in November of 2009. Id., at 6.
Plaintiff returned to work for Defendant Kitsap County in December of 2012. Id., at 7. The Amended Complaint alleges that soon after his return to work, Defendants did not allow him to resume his DFM 2 duties, did not give him the proper tools for his job, did not allow him to attend training, and reduced his hours. Id. Plaintiff alleges he informed Defendants that these actions were exacerbating his Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome ("PTSD"). Id., at 8. He asserts Defendants took no action. Id.
Plaintiff then contacted an ombudsman with the federal Employer Support for Guard and Reserve, who then tried to contact Defendants. Id., at 8-9. Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants did not respond, and Defendant Lynam (Plaintiff's supervisor) characterized the complaint as "offensive." Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants then assigned him a lower status radio call sign and took necessary equipment and tools away from him. Id. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Lynam allowed co-workers to "single out and ostracize" him. Id.
Plaintiff asserts that on April 9, 2013, the County required him to apply for a DFM 2 position. Id., at 10. Plaintiff did not get the job. Id. On April 26, 2013, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants asked him to attend an annual performance evaluation, months earlier than he was scheduled to do. Id. Plaintiff alleges that during that interview, Defendants admitted that he was well qualified to do his job, but that he did not get the DFM 2 job because of his attitude. Id. at 11-12. He was also informed that his hours were being cut. Id. He alleges further, that Defendants informed other County employees not to write any positive character references for Plaintiff and not to contact him for any job-related work. Id, at 12.
In addition to the above, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants also refused to provide him with proper credit and or contributions to his county retirement account while he was on active duty. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that on or about May 1, 2013 he filed a claim with the County. Id. Plaintiff asserts that on or about May 8, 2013, Defendants began to try to undermine his attempts to enforce his rights by stripping him of all his responsibilities and pay. Id., at 13. Plaintiff contends that in retaliation for filing his tort claim with the County, Defendants contacted him on at least two occasions, the last being on May 20, 2013, and demanded that he participate in interviews to "accommodate" his Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") request. Id. Plaintiff denies that he is making, or has made an ADA claim or request. Id. Plaintiff asserts that he referred Defendants to his attorney. Id.
Plaintiff filed this action on May 22, 2013. Plaintiff claims that after he filed suit, Defendants informed him that he would be "denied his usual work responsibilities until he became medically cleared to do his DFM 1 and 2 investigation work" in retaliation for filing this suit. Dkt.11. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants took this action even though they acknowledged on May 1, 2013 he was well qualified for his work and he has not made an ADA claim. Id.

Dkt. 21, at 2-4. In Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, he alleges that his employment with Defendant Kitsap County ended in August of 2013. Dkt. 38-2. He also alleges that he made a public disclosure request, and ...


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